Week 9, Ch. 15, Maori “Jews” and a Resistant Reading of John 5:10-47, Mary Huie-Jolly (Sugirtharajah)

November 26, 2007

This was definitely a fascinating depiction of the multiplicity of dynamics at work within a community impacted by Christian missionary activity during times of colonial expansion. It is difficult to fault the Maori people for their authentic expressions of resistance to theological propositions about the authority of Jesus that came hand and hand with colonial domination.  I think it is unfortunate that Christians today get upset when people struggle with faith questions regarding the absolute and universal claims of Christ as Lord, or that Christ is equal to God. I think much of what is at the heart of these questions is a desire to trust that the God that one worships is just and fair, that this God is one who doesn’t push universal claims about Himself out of self-interest.  This is not to suggest that that absolute claims about the lordship of Christ should be abandoned, but sensitivity to those who are seeking intellectual integrity in their understanding of God should be honored with a patient, listening attitude, versus propositional and aggressive forms of dialogue.  In this way, our witness will reflect the humble nature of Christ, who suffered and dwelled as God on earth in human flesh.

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